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What’s Best For Your Fleet? Digital vs. Screen Print

When it comes to deciding what the best way is to display your brand, you face many options. Big or small, fleet graphics, retail signage, window graphics, and more, Signature Graphics offers customized printing and branding solutions to suit your business needs, plus design and installation consultation.

The first step is deciding what will get your job done – digital or screen printing. We outline the differences and walk through what may be the best solution for your business.

What is a digital print?

Digital prints are any printed medium that comes directly from a digital file format. Whether it was delivered to a print shop as a PDF, .eps, .png, or another format, a digital print will go directly to the medium, be it a vinyl banner, vehicle graphic, cardstock, canvas, etc.

The format is dependent on the quality of the printer. The files are pixelated and read as dots-per-inch (dpi). The higher quality printer (they run from 350 to 1,200 dpi), the clearer the image.

Digital prints allow for out-of-the-box thinking and encourage creativity. Your material will consistently look the same.

What is a screen print?

A screenprint leans old-school. The process requires a lot of set-up time, and then the graphic will need time to cure. But it is customizable in its ability to use metallics and have exact color matches that don’t rely on the digital Pantone color wheel.

A screened print’s process is manual. Woven mesh, or screen, is run through a pre-press process of coating and then transposing the image to the screen. Once set, the screen is loaded onto the press and the ink runs over the image. Next, it is transferred to the medium (T-shirt, sign, etc.) with a squeegee before being sent through a heat tunnel to set it in place.

Why choose a digital print?

There are several benefits of using a digital print graphic:

  • Fast turnaround. Because the digital file is directly printed to a medium, eliminating a manual process, you can have the job back quickly to meet an urgent deadline.
  • Cost-effective for smaller jobs. Again, that streamlined process cuts out the time and makes a job cost-effective.
  • Complicated jobs, or wrap graphics, such as those needed for fleet graphics for vehicles, can be templated so it’s right the first time it’s printed.
  • Does the job need multiple images and/or colors? This is the way to go. It’s quick and you get what was designed.

Why choose screen print?

There are several benefits of using a screen print graphic:

  • You get exact color matches and the ability to add texture, such as metallics, to your job needs.
  • Lower cost on large runs. Since the setup is time-consuming, you may benefit from cost-effectiveness if the quantity of the job is large enough.
  • This is the OG method. It was around long before digital, so it looks classic and timeless.

What’s best for my business?

One size does not fit all jobs. Fleet graphics, window, and retail signage, and other almost one-off jobs likely will benefit from digital print graphics. If your needs lean more customizable or you require a large quantity or color, your job may need screen print graphics.

Contact Signature Graphics today for a consultation to find a solution customized to fit your needs.

We proudly use 3MTM graphic films and overlaminates.